Judean coin world record broken, as silver shekel brings 7.58% pa return

A rare Judean coin has sold for $1.1m at a New York auction, significantly above its $950,000 estimate, breaking the world record for a Judean coin in the process.

The Year 1 prototype silver shekel from AD66 had last appeared at auction in May 1991, when it sold for $240,000. That represents a 7.58% pa return.

The coin is one of just two extant examples of the first coin produced by the Jews during the Jewish War against Rome, which took place between AD 66-73. The other resides at Jerusalem's Israel Museum.

The coin features three pomegranates, a chalice and the inscription: "Holy Jerusalem".

The auction house states that both specimens are similarly centred, with the reverse of both coins slightly to the left of centre.

Judean shekel
The monyers in Jerusalem “had not yet perfected their techniques”

This suggests that "the moneyers in Jerusalem had not yet perfected their techniques for striking such large silver pieces", it states.

"While the major elements of the design were retained in the second generation issues, subsequent shekels were greatly simplified, with the inner dotted border removed and the Paleo Hebrew lettering rendered in a much less elaborate style."

The item is one of 1,800 Jewish coins from the Shoshana Collection, amassed by a Los Angeles enthusiast, which went under the hammer.

Not everyone has the ability to own a $1.1m Judean shekel, but opportunities exist to buy potentially profitable rare coins at less eye-watering sums.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a superb range of investment-grade coins currently in stock. Take a look at what you could buy today.

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